ORONO, Maine — University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development professional Carla Scocchi is the recipient of the 2021 Denise Miller National 4-H Innovator Award presented by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals. The award “recognizes an individual or team who exemplifies innovation, accomplishment, and commitment in the design and delivery of a unique 4-H program” according to the NAE4-HYDP website. [source: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.
Scocchi, along with award team members Melissa Malmstedt, education and outreach coordinator at the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, and Scarlett Tudor, education and outreach coordinator at the UMaine Aquaculture Research Institute, developed and delivered an at-home aquaponics program to reach youth with interests in fish, home aquaria or modern agricultural technology who were isolated at home during the pandemic.
A recent UMaine Today magazine story,“Hooked on Aquaponics,” describes the journey of one young student who loves fish, aquaponics and learning. “This project illustrates a successful virtual program that sustained a hands-on component on the ground. What defines the 4-H Aquaponics Project as innovative is not only that the experience could be replicated by other 4-H programs, but that it serves as a model for how 4-H can preserve its learn-by-doing approach in the post-pandemic world,” Scocchi said.
Tudor added, “Many of the skills that kids learn in this program are highly transferable to careers within and outside of aquaculture, all of which are extremely important to our workforce in Maine.”
More information is available on the UMaine Extension 4-H Aquaponics Project website. More information about the 4-H program is available on the UMaine Extension 4-H website, or by contacting 207.581.3877; email@example.com.
About University of Maine Cooperative Extension: As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.
About the University of Maine: The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land grant, sea grant and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state’s public research university and a Carnegie R1 top-tier research institution. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduates. Our students have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master’s, doctoral or professional science master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit umaine.edu and machias.edu.
–University of Maine Cooperative Extension